Combined experimental and numerical study of thermal management of battery module consisting of multiple Li-ion cells

Fan He, Xuesong Li, Lin Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries are promising power sources for hybrid powertrain systems, and the thermal management of batteries has been identified as a critical issue both for safety and efficiency concerns. This work studied thermal management of a Li-ion battery module both experimentally and computationally. A battery module consisting of multiple cells was fabricated and experimentally tested in a wind tunnel facility. Systematic tests were performed under various flow velocities, charging and discharging current, and module configuration. Computationally, a high-fidelity two dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to capture the detailed dynamics of thermal management of the cells. Temperature rise of cells and pressure measurements were recorded in the experiments, and compared with CFD model simulations. Reasonable agreement was obtained, confirming the validity of the model. The validated model was then applied to study the power consumption required by the thermal management system. The results obtained in this combined experimental and numerical study are expected to be valuable for the optimized design of battery modules and the development of reduced-order models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the Automotive Research Center (ARC), a U.S. Army Center of Excellence in Modeling and Simulation of Ground Vehicles.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • CFD modeling
  • Li-ion batteries
  • Thermal management
  • Wind tunnel testing


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